England’s Moeen ready to play first tour match

first_img(REUTERS) – England all-rounder Moeen Ali is ready to play his first Australian tour match in Townsville after recovering from a side strain.The 30-year-old missed England’s opening two games in Perth and Adelaide but is available for the final warm-up game against a Cricket Australia XI starting on Wednesday.“I am good. It’s just a slight strain on my side from throwing,” Moeen told reporters on Monday.”It was a bit frustrating but also not a bad thing, you get a lot more work done.“I feel like I am ready to play and I can’t wait to spend time in the field. We have got four days of cricket ahead. I can get a bit of game time in my system and then be ready to play, hopefully, at the Gabba.”It will be England’s last game before the Ashes series opener in Brisbane on Nov. 23.England are on a 31-year winless streak in Brisbane but Moeen believes it is important for the visitors to set the marker for the rest of the campaign.”I’ve heard a lot about Brisbane,“ said Moeen. ”It’s something you have to block out. You have to focus on your game and the situation that the team is in.“I‘m prepared the best I can. When you’re out there you rely on your instincts. I know it will be tough, but I’ve always backed my ability.”England head into the final tour match on the back of a convincing 192-run victory over a Cricket Australia XI in a day-night game in Adelaide.last_img read more

Michael Essien backs Fernando Torres to break Chelsea duck

first_imgChelsea midfielder Michael Essien insists that misfiring Fernando Torres has the full support of his team-mates despite going 10 games without scoring since his arrival in January.Torres was expected to help fire Chelsea back into the title race after his £50 million transfer but the striker has struggled to form a partnership with Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka and has yet to hit the back of the net for his new club.Essien, however, has revealed he expects the Spanish international to start scoring soon and that he has the backing of the rest of the Blues squad.“To be honest, we’re not concerned. We know it’s going to come,” he told Sky Sports.“He’s been working very hard and has everyone’s support. We just have to be patient. He’ll start scoring for us in time.Essien explained that he still felt Torres was one of the best strikers in the world and was looking forward to seeing him get back into his old ways to prove his hefty transfer fee. “Nando is one of the best strikers in the world at this moment,” he continued.“When he starts scoring, all the noise about him will stop. It’s just a matter of time.“Coming into a new club, he needs to settle. The players and the club have no doubts about him. We know he’s going to deliver.”Source: Goal.comlast_img read more